Friday 30 September 2022

Deepdale Farm - 29th September 2022

 We gave the farm a try hoping for some classic autumn species and did have some success in the form of a couple of Redwing, a Goldcrest and a single Meadow Pipit. Unfortunately, the session then became rather quiet before turning into what I'll describe as a BlueTitfest in that this species made up over half of the final count.

Age 3 Redwing with classic 'toothed' marking on greater coverts and tertial.

Age 4 Redwing with classic 'skim' marking on greater coverts and tertials.

Adult male Goldcrest

Total: 19 (2)

Meadow Pipit - 1
Redwing - 2
Wren - 1 (1)
Robin - 0 (1)
Dunnock - 1
Goldcrest - 1
Blue Tit - 13

Wednesday 28 September 2022

Salthouse duck pond - 25th September 2022

 After a few hours seawatching in the bracing wind at Cley coastguards, watching the seabirds heading east or west along the coast ( Red-throated Diver, Gannet, Brent Goose, Gullemot, Razor-bill, Widgeon, Teal, Med Gull, Common Gull, Cormorant, Long-tailed Skua, Arctic Skua, Shelduck, Sanderling, Turnstone, Grey Plover, Hobby and Meadow Pipit covers most of what went by) we took some scraps along to the Salthouse duck pond to feed to the gulls, hoping to find any ringed birds returned for the winter.

It was great to see that J9Z5 was back. This Black-headed Gull was ringed in 2013 in Norway and has been recorded at the duck pond every winter, since arriving there as a second winter bird in 2014.


Long may he/she continue to return (and the plastic darvic continue to stand up to the rigours of gull life.)

Wednesday 21 September 2022

Sculthorpe Moor - 21st September 2022

 Only six species today. Other than residents there were only 4 Chiffchaff, one being a female that bred close to net one and was now finishing a full primary moult before completely losing her brood patch (BP5). Twenty five birds were processed in all.

The BTO has recently stated that only 13% of birds are reported with details of moult. Ringers often record the stage of wing moult but do not record other stages of moult. We are pleased to be able to say that we always record moult throughout the year. The aged 3 Blue Tit below was coded 'P' as post-juvenile moult is still in progress. Further to that, an alula score of A0 (both old) and 3ogc (retained old greater coverts)  was also recorded.

Juvenile Blue Tit

Long-tailed Tit, moult code 'E' ending, aged as a 2 (Year of hatching unknown)
 as all birds do a full primary moult 

Totals: 18 (7)

Wren - 3
Robin - 0 (1)
Chiffchaff - 3 (1)
Long-tailed Tit - 3
Great Tit - 1 (1)
Blue Tit - 8 (4)

Friday 16 September 2022

Cley seawatch - 15th September 2022

 Since it's difficult to get a decent picture I don't usually bother with a camera. Well, that was before spotting a Minke whale a few weeks back and not getting an image, so despite having my usual camera in for repair and using my far inferior back-up I did manage to get a few record shots today.

Arctic Skua chasing Sandwich Tern

Red-throated Diver. Most were heading East and much further out. 
Counted into double figures.

Extremely dark Long-tailed Skua. White on outer primaries and behaviour 
seem to point to that identification.

Thursday 15 September 2022

Snettisham high tide roost - 14th September 2022

 I haven't been to the high tide roost for quite a long time. When we arrived this morning it was quite a shock to see the carpark so full and as we arrived at the area where birds form swirling flocks over the water as available roosting and feeding places are squeezed to a minimum I felt quite disappointed. I guess it's the price to be paid for popularisation. 

People everywhere, few actual birders with scopes and binoculars but plenty of 'public' wanting to watch the spectacle. There were people watching from the very shoreline and some even wandered along the water's edge oblivious to the small birds being displaced by their thoughtless actions.

Thankfully most people were not interested in birding from the hides, and having escaped the crowds we were able to record some colour-ringed birds.

One of these birds was marked under Pete Potts' scheme. Can you see it?

Friday 9 September 2022

Sculthorpe Moor - 9th September 2022

 There is no description for this session other than severely rain affected! The brief light showers forecast for the morning turned into torrential downpours after the first shower. We were fortunate to have cleared and pushed up all nets as the rain started, and with an eye on the sky had not dropped nets before the first cloudburst. We tried to reopen but the rain was against us and as a result we had a reduced catch, not that surprising as we managed less than 2.5 net hours from 6 hours on site.

Totals: 18 (7)

Wren - 2 (1)
Dunnock - 1
Blackcap - 1
Chiffchaff - 6 (2)
Willow Warbler - 1
Goldcrest - 3
Blue Tit - 2 (1)
Great Tit - 2 (3)

Monday 5 September 2022

Deepdale Farm - 4th September 2022

 The weather conditions looked favourable for drift migrants from the continent and while other sites along the coast turned up Pied Flycatchers, Redstarts and Wryneck, including some trapped and ringed we only caught the more common migrants and resident species.

Our only Willow Warbler of the day

One of 3 juvenile Whitethroats

Juvenile Robin with 5 old greater coverts.

The morning had started with a beautiful sunrise, and a Barn Owl disturbed from the ringing area before any nets were up, but captures brought nothing out of the ordinary and we couldn't even manage  30 birds. 

6am at Deepdale Farm. It's a shame so many people never 
get to see a late summer sunrise.

 Total: 21 (6)

Robin - 2 (1)
Dunnock - 1
Whitethroat - 3
Blackcap - 4
Willow Warbler - 1
Chiffchaff - 3
Blue Tit - 1 (1)
Great Tit - 1
Long-tailed Tit - 5 (4)


Thursday 1 September 2022

Finch House garden - August 2022

 On the first day of autumn, here is the ringing round up of species processed in the garden during August. Food continued to disappear quickly. In addition we frequently ran the little ornamental fountain to provide a reliable source of water for the birds during the driest, hottest spells. We also used a couple of shallow dishes to collect water as some birds prefer to drink away from the spout where water bubbles out. It was interesting to observe different behaviours when birds came to drink. Some days, birds would wait in the Laurel bush for the drinking area to come free, some birds liked to paddle about where the water spilled off of the cuboid feature, some actually drank from the fountain itself, while others preferred to sip from the dishes. We witnessed whole scale bathing, sufficient to displace the shells and stones placed to ensure an easy exit for any small animals that climbed onto the dishes and one particular Blackbird loved his ablutions and actively drove birds away, holding a temporary territory for up to 20 minutes at a time while he enjoyed the water and kept it all to himself.

There were some decent periods of low wind so we used both 6m nets to try and capitalise on the birds coming, including some tit flocks, at the cooler times of the day. Best bird was a Lesser Whitethroat, captured just a metre from the fountain and given a drink before being processed as it was only there for water.

Total: 119 (31)

Woodpigeon - 1
Blackbird - 10 (1)
Robin - 2 (2)
Dunnock - 10 (9)
Lesser Whitethroat - 1
Blackcap - 5
Long-tailed Tit - 10 (3)
Coal Tit - 1
Blue Tit - 53 (10)
Great Tit - 11 (3)
Chaffinch - 1
Greenfinch - 10 (2)
House Sparrow - 4 (1)